This is what winter looks like in the district of Lima.
Well at the Reserva Nacional de Lachay (or Lomas de Lachay) anyway! Once you escape the dusty desert, the winter moisture leaves the hillsides and mountains flourishing in a carpet of green.
The mist up here during the winter season (around June to October) is something else. In the August morning that we visited it was so thick that we honestly couldn’t really see where in the world we were. The immediate surroundings were there, but the further landscape was pretty shrouded. It looks a bit like you’ve found yourselves in the misty moors of the ‘Hound of the Baskerville’ or in ‘Sleepy Hollow’, only more tropical and mountainous! Without this moisture in the air though, you wouldn’t get the stunning, lush plants that you see covering every surface. In the summer, would you believe that none of this is here.
Luckily the mist clears up a little as the day moves on and you can see all that this area has to offer. Little birds flutter around, beautiful tiny flowers give pops of colour in the mass of green, and dark, leafless trees lend a very dramatic edge to the place. They’re not dead, it’s just the type of tree they are, and you can see all kinds of fauna and moss growing along their branches. The rocks poking out from the hillside further up add another dimension to the landscape and one even looks like a lion’s head.
If you’re wondering about difficulty, the walk itself was fairly average, not flat and super easy, but by no means really difficult either – although some people in our group might not agree with me on the last bit! We stopped quite a lot to check out the misty views, to take photos and to hear our guide talk about various sections along the route, so there were plenty of moments to rest. The way up is a steady incline, but the way down is more direct, winding and steep.
This location, about 105km north of the city of Lima, is super popular with visitors during the winter season, so it can get pretty busy on weekends. I have to say, even though the car park was getting full and the crowds were forming around the museum-y type building part way along the entry road, we didn’t actually meet a lot of people on the trail itself. If you’re thinking of taking local transport (like minibuses) to Lomas de Lachay (which I would never recommend), just be aware that they’ll most likely drop you off at the beginning of the long (*read super long) road that leads up to the main centre of the reserve which would take a while to walk itself. Taking your own car would be your best bet, but if that’s not possible then hopefully you can find tours that can take you all the way to the start of the walks.
It’s a bit of a trip from Lima city, but easily doable in a day if you start early. If you’ve visited the city before and you’re looking for something new to do, then I would highly recommend a visit out here.
I love escaping the dusty metropolis and finding places like this that are so refreshing for both body and mind….